Exeter Writers

My story ‘Dying Teddy Bears’ was longlisted in the Exeter Writers competition (but did not progress any further). It is already in a couple of other competitions, so we’ll see how it does there.


I forgot to post my recent picture of Pippi…

This is based on a photograph, from which I made an outline drawing that I transferred to a wood block prepared with gesso, and then had at it with the acrylics. Here are the photo and drawing for comparison…

June 2023 Competitions

Here again is a look at writing competitions I might enter during the coming month (so no poetry or competitions not open to UK writers, for example – but competitions for old people are definitely in, and in fact I’ve got a couple this time…)

  • The Salamander Prize is for stories up to 30 pages. Entry is $15, top prize $1,000 and the deadline is 1 June.
  • Write by the Sea looks for up to 2,500 words, entry is €10 and the winner gets €500 plus an elegant trophy. You’ve got until 4 June.
  • The Writer’s Digest has a word limit of 4,000. Entry is $35 and the top prize is $1000 – awarded in several categories and lots of lesser prizes are awarded to good entries. The deadline is 5 June.
  • Grist is running the Imagine 2200 competition, in which they invite you to do just that, presenting a climate-fiction vision of how a greener world might be flourishing in that distant year. They want 3-5,000 words and the top prize is $3,000, but entry is free! (You can donate $50 if you want to support Grist, however). The deadline is 13 June.
  • Now one for the oldies: Stories Through the Ages, from Living Springs, is for baby boomers plus (people born in 1966 or earlier) They will accept up to 5,000 words, charge $20 and award a prize of $500 as well as publication. They are, in my experience, discerning judges. The deadline is 15 June.
  • Writefluence is back. Following competitions for stories about the imaginary character Mr Rosewood, and then Mrs Rosewood, they now want one which must be about a day in the life of both old folk, up to 3,000 words. You can imagine them however you want. No prize except publication, but then entry is only Rs. 150/-  ($2 approx). Readers of this blog have had some success with this one in the past. Enter by 15 June.
  • I don’t know much about Bardsy (any views?) but they have a first chapter competition for members. Up to 3,000 words of your novel, $20 for entry, with a prize of $1,000 and inclusion in an anthology. The deadline is 20 June.

All the rest have a deadline of 30 June.

  • WriteTime is another one for the oldies – over 60s, in this case. Only 1,500 words is required, £3 to enter and a £50 prize, so nothing for vulnerable pensioners to get over-stressed about.
  • The Wells Festival of Literature (which I really ought to visit one year) looks for up to 2,000 words: entry is £6 and the prize is £750.
  • A special tribute from me for Graham Jennings, the gent who ran the regular Henshaw competitions for many years with unfailing courtesy. It seems Graham has decided to take a well-earned rest: however the competitions continue as before under the management of Hobeck Books. Word count up to 2,000, entry £6 and top prize £200.
  • The Moth is back, looking for up to 3,000 words: entry is £15 and first prize £3,000.
  • Then we have the redoubtable Christopher Fielden’s competition To Hull and Back, for humorous pieces up to 2,500 words. Entry is £15, and besides winning £1,200 you could have your face added to the dramatic motorbike picture on the cover of the anthology, as well as your story being literally given an exciting ride to Hull (and back) on Chris’s Harley – if you haven’t read about this before, check it out. Chris’s site has useful info about other competitions and much else.
  • The Writers College generously runs a free competition for stories up to 2,000 words,  on the theme ‘Words Have Consequences’ in which you could win NZ$1,000.
  • You might also be interested in another competition from the same people, for a non-fiction essay on ‘My Writing Journey’: a maximum of 600 words in this case, and a prize of NZ$200.
  • Finally, the Katherine Ann Porter prize run by the University of North Texas looks for a collection of any kind of short fiction, from flash to novellas, that totals 100 to 200 pages or somewhere between 27,500 and 50,000 words. You can win $1,000 plus publication. The normal fee is $25, but they are running a fee-free window if you enter on 1 June (careful about time zones if you go for this). Many competitions offer free entry for people who are short of money; this is apparently intended as a different way to improve access.

I would love to hear about any successes you may have!

A Clock

Here’s a clock I made. Well, obviously I didn’t make the mechanism. And the box is a pre-made picture frame. But the rest of it. I made the rest of it.